The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a complaint Tuesday in New York's federal district court alleging that Mission Settlement Agency of New York and Premier Consultant Group LLC in New Jersey charged more than a thousand consumers millions of dollars in unnecessary, upfront fees.

The agency's filed Tuesday wasn't only against the two debt settlement companies, but also against Michael Levitis, Mission's principal. The CFPB alleges that Levitis misled consumers by impersonating a government agent and giving false statements about fees.

"These wolves in sheep's clothing take money from consumers who are already struggling to pay their bills, falsely promising them help while really making their problems worse," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The CFPB, which began the investigations in July, said the companies should shut down, pay civil money penalties and give compensation for affected consumers.

For the full piece see "CFPB, Justice Seek Shutdown of Two Debt Settlement Firms" (may require subscription).